Omicron: A recent South African study has concluded that an infection with Omicron not just induces an immune response against the new covid variant but also offers protection against the Delta variant. The research however has not been peer-reviewed and had participation of only about 30 people. In the study, the researchers collected antibodies from a group of people infected with Omicron two weeks after infection. Then, the researchers analyzed their ability to neutralize the Omicron and Delta variants. The antibodies not only showed 14-fold increase in the ability to neutralize Omicron variant in two weeks but also were found to possess over four times higher neutralizing ability against the Delta variants.
“The increase in Delta variant neutralization in individuals infected with Omicron may result in decreased ability of Delta to re-infect those individuals,” the researchers were quoted as saying in Reuters. Scientists also noticed that this result could mean Omicron replacing Delta as the most prevalent variant. This could also be good news if Omicron, a new covid variant, continues to show milder signs of disease or infection as the data suggests.
New guidelines issued by CDC
As per the new guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, there will now be a shorter isolation period for asymptomatic patients. Such patients only needed isolation of five days and not ten as prescribed earlier. The guidelines were changed to minimize the economic disruption that could be caused by a large number of people isolating themselves even when the chances of them spreading the infection to others is very unlikely.
New year restrictions in France
France became the latest country in Europe to impose stricter restrictions in the New Year. The new restrictions would kick in in January. As per the new restrictions, assembling of more than 2,000 people indoors would be prohibited, more than 5,000 gathering outdoors would be prohibited. Work from home will be made compulsory for those who can. France has been recording unprecedented surge in covid cases amid rising cases of Omicron variant. Germany, Portugal and Italy among others are the countries that had announced restrictions after Christmas.
Omicron in India
The latest data released by the Union Health Ministry shows India’s overall tally of Omicron cases rose to 781 on Wednesday i.e. December 29, 2021. With 9,195 new Covid-19 cases recorded, India’s active caseload rose to 77,002.
Due to the rising Omicron threat and Covid-19 cases, Chennai police have enforced new restrictions ahead of New Year celebrations. The Chennai police have urged people not to gather on any of the city beaches, including Besant Nagar, Marina, Neelankarai and those along the East Coast Road connecting Chennai with Kanyakumari.